Article submissions wanted – Advertising and diversity

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Special issue: Advertising and diversity: The framing of disability in promotional spaces

Guest editors:

Ella Houston and Beth Haller


In recent years, disabled people are increasingly featured in advertisements. Moreover, disabled people are now included in a larger variety of advertisements, for example, those produced by fashion and beauty companies. On the subject of contemporary advertising portrayals of diverse bodies, Lennard J. Davis (2013:4) highlights ‘… a trend to embrace the diversity of the human body within certain kinds of limits… cherry-picking the aspects of diversity that appeal to a regnant paradigm’. In other words, while the makers of advertisements now may be more likely to feature disabled people in their campaigns, traditional beauty standards and expectations are often not strongly challenged. While it is beneficial that the makers of advertisements include disabled people in their campaigns more frequently, it is problematic that portrayals of disability tend to be limited in the ways diverse bodies, minds and lives are imagined.

Building on this understanding of the representation of ‘diverse’ bodies in advertising, the overall aim of this special issue is to examine the representation of disability, and themes surrounding diversity, in advertising. In doing so, we welcome contributions that offer critically informed analyses of disability portrayals in advertising that might draw on work from fields such as: disability studies, gender studies, critical race theory, cultural studies, media and communication studies. Proposals for papers that may explore (but are not limited to) the following questions and topics are welcomed:

–          The representation of disabled people in international advertising campaigns

–          Intersectional analyses of advertising representations of disability

–          Reoccurring narratives surrounding disability in advertisements – are historical narratives and stereotypes surrounding disability challenged and/or reinforced in contemporary advertising?

–          Audience responses to advertising representations of disabled people

–          Disability, celebrity and advertising

–          Cross-analyses of portrayals of disability in multi-media advertising

–          The extent to which ableist ideologies are challenged or reinforced in contemporary advertising

–          Interdisciplinary approaches to discourses surrounding diversity in advertising

–          Contemporary and/or historical analyses of the representation of diversity in advertising

–          Advertising disability and diversity in neoliberal contexts

–          The accessibility of advertisements featuring disabled people

–          Promotional use of disabled people by disability organizations



27th January 2020: Deadline for submission of 250-word proposal for articles and a short biography to the guest editors Ella Houston and Beth Haller at JLCDS.ads@gmail.com

10th March 2020: Prospective authors will be notified of proposal status

19th October 2020: Full versions of selected papers to be submitted to guest editors

25th January 2021: Final papers will be selected. Authors will receive decisions and revisions on papers

20th April 2021: Deadline for submitting final, revised papers to guest editors.

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